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Trip Report 3/22/12 - 3/29/12 (Family of 5)

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Boise, ID
Level Contributor
358 posts
28 reviews
Trip Report 3/22/12 - 3/29/12 (Family of 5)

I wanted to post a trip report before real life begins . . .

This is our trip report for 2 adults and 3 kids (ages 12, 9, and 6)

3/22 -- We arrive around 11:30 a.m. It was pretty cool and windy. We decided to walk down the Balboa Pier and eat at Ruby's. My double rich chocolate shake was good. I don't eat red meat, so I ordered a veggie burger. Everyone else ordered burgers and fries. The people here were so nice and friendly. Fun to eat right on the pier. If I were to go again, we would probably just order the shakes since that was the best part.

We went and got checked in at the Casa De Balboa. This was a wonderful place. Decorated very nice and immaculately clean. Full kitchen, eating area, family room area, 2 bedrm/2 bath. Full size washer and dryer. We had a view of the harbour right outside of our window. Nice little bay area.

We walked to the Newport pier from our beach house. Saw lots of sea lions. We did some trinket shopping at the sourrounding shops.

Right outside of 21 Ocanfront we saw 4 or 5 Porches lined up in a row. This is not common where we live, and the girls thought it was pretty cool :)

We shopped at Pavillions market and ate dinner at the house.


Went to Huntington Pier in the A.M. It was very windy and cool in the morning. The kids loved watching the surfers and volleyball players. We walked around the shops across from the pier. I wanted to check out the Sugar Shack, but kids wanted pizza. We are at La Roccos pizza (thin crust). It was good, but definitely needed lots of napkins. About $18 for a large pizza and side order of garlic knots. Our girls are not big eaters, so this fed the entire family. Very reasonably priced.

We hung out at the beach for the afternoon. It warmed up as the sun came out, but was still breezy and cool. My girls loved this beach -- very cool vibe.


The girls wanted donuts for breakfast. I didn't know of any fabulous donut places (heard Mags was good, but didn't really look into this). My husband ran to Citi donuts since it was close.

We headed out to Corona del Mar. I cannot describe how gorgeous this place is. The town, the neighborhood with the "flower streets", the beach . . . .loved it all.

We went to Inspiration Point to get some gorgeous photos. We walked down the hill to the cove and it was just so beautiful. Loved the feel of the sand here. We strolled along the beach and then headed back up for lunch. We ate at the Panini Cafe and loved it. Service was fabulous. Everything we ordered was good. I ordered the half sandwich and salad and it was plenty. Generous portions. Reasonably priced. Would definitely go back.

3/25 Rained all day


We went to Crystal Cove. I didn't really know much about this place except for that it was a fun place to go. We ate at Beachcombers for breakfast. They were great and accommodated a very large family (we were traveling with 2 other families at this pint). We really liked it.

Headed right down to the beach. My husband described it as looking like a beach town/summer camp. It does have a "campy" feel to it. Very unique. I can tell you that it is meticulously maintained. We saw people cleaning the public restrooms, etc constantly. We all had a fun time here.


We set aside this day to go to Sea World. I must admit, I was not excited about giving up an entire beach day. But we knew our girls really wanted to go in. It was about $350 for our family to get in (not including parking). I still loved the Shamu show. I grew up in FL and went to Sea World and Disney World quite a bit, so it brought back some fun memories.

They have added quite a bit since I had last been. Kids had a great time and I'm glad we went. I don't think we will go back for a while, though.


We headed out to Fashion Island right at 10:00 a.m. We knew we wanted to go to Laguna beach, too, so our time was limited.

This is the most gorgeous mall I have ever been to. We were there for just 3 hours, but we could have easily spend an entire day there if time had permitted. The teens and tweens loved the 2 story Forever 21. Adults loved the high end department stores and boutique stores. We will leave more time to shop on our next visit.

We headed to Laguna beach next. It was extremely crowded and was tough to find parking. We ended up getting a pretty good spot. We ate at BJ's which was a mistake. I don't like eating at chains, especially on vacation. But kids were hungry and it was close.

It was a pretty beach and we had a nice time hanging out. Kids went boogie boarding even though the water was frigid. When the sun starting going down, it got really cool, so we decided to pack it up and get dinner.

We were all sporting swimsuits and cover ups and weren't dressed for dinner. Someone suggested La Sirena for guac/tacos. The people here were super friendly. Fresh ingredients and reasonably priced.

Headed out the next morning. We absolutely loved our stay and wished we had more time to explore and hang out at the beaches. Thanks to all for your help and suggestions iwth planning this trip!!

Revelstoke, B.C.
Level Contributor
324 posts
43 reviews
11. Re: Trip Report 3/22/12 - 3/29/12 (Family of 5)

Hi, if you were to go again, and only had two days, what you do? What were the absolute hi lights?

Stockholm, Sweden
Level Contributor
22 posts
12. Re: Trip Report 3/22/12 - 3/29/12 (Family of 5)

Thank you for a great trip report! We will be in this area March 2013 and your report will be of great help!

Boise, ID
Level Contributor
358 posts
28 reviews
13. Re: Trip Report 3/22/12 - 3/29/12 (Family of 5)

I was just checking this thread again because we are going to Newport again in July 2013 and wanted to re-read everything I wrote about. I didn't see the question about the absolute highlights of the trip that can be done in 2 days. Even those that post was like 7 months ago, I can answer it in case anyone else is wondering the same thing.

I don't think I could fit everything into 2 days -- we were there for a week and felt like it wasn't enough time. But my all time favorite beach was Corona del Mar. Hands down the most gorgeous in my opinion and the houses on the flower streets are the homes I would own in my dreams :). We loved the Panini Cafe right there.

I thought the ferry to Balboa was fun -- a different experience and a cute town.

We really liked eating at Beachcombers right on the beach at Crystal Cove. It was a fun beach and meticulously maintained. Some of the other beaches were not so clean. But Corona del Mar and Crystal Cove were both immaculate, in our personal experience.

We're really excited for our second trip this summer -- and we will be planning a trip during Spring Break of 2014, too. We're hooked for sure.

New York
Level Contributor
930 posts
8 reviews
14. Re: Trip Report 3/22/12 - 3/29/12 (Family of 5)

Hi Michelle - glad you're going again...we were there again in October...did you consider a rental on Balboa Island...take a look on VRBO. Also did you go to Laguna last time? If not I really recommend it...

Anaheim, California
Destination Expert
for Anaheim
Level Contributor
24,253 posts
13 reviews
15. Re: Trip Report 3/22/12 - 3/29/12 (Family of 5)

Check out this site for events during your visit..


New York
Level Contributor
930 posts
8 reviews
16. Re: Trip Report 3/22/12 - 3/29/12 (Family of 5)

Oh I see you did go to Laguna:)

Boise, ID
Level Contributor
358 posts
28 reviews
17. Re: Trip Report 3/22/12 - 3/29/12 (Family of 5)

Hi Gina,

Unfortunately, we didn't have a say in accommodations this time around since my parents are taking our entire family and paying for our hotel. But, I'll take it!! :)

Yes, we did go to Laguna and I loved the cute shops and restaurants. We just went to that main beach and I didn't love it. My SIL said she found some really gorgeous parts of Laguna beach that were more secluded -- so I will have to ask her about those.

It really can't come fast enough -- we are freezing right now :)

Any other must-do's on your list?

Thanks Darkbeer, I will check out that link!

Huntington Beach
Destination Expert
for Huntington Beach
Level Contributor
1,399 posts
23 reviews
18. Re: Trip Report 3/22/12 - 3/29/12 (Family of 5)

I just happened upon this very nice trip report of yours. Don't want to step on any posters toes but If you are coming out this way again in July, look to see if it is during the US Open of Surfing 7/20-7/28. Your kids will love that. I would also recommend the Pageant of the Masters

http://www.foapom.com in Laguna Beach. Did you visit any tide pools while in CDM or Laguna Beach?

New York
Level Contributor
930 posts
8 reviews
19. Re: Trip Report 3/22/12 - 3/29/12 (Family of 5)

Yep we're freezing too, that's why I like to comeon this board to dream about sunny California...where are you staying this time...if you didn't take the harbor cruise I highly recommend it..you can get it by the fun zone.

20. Re: Trip Report 3/22/12 - 3/29/12 (Family of 5)

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